Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.
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MINNEAPOLIS - It was going to be different this time around for Detroit Lakes senior Melissa Paakh. After finishing as the state runner-up the last three years, Paakh became the first-ever girl Laker to win a state swimming championship, after she topped the 100-yard butterfly state field with a time of 56.38. The last 25 yards was the determining factor for Paakh, who was able to out-sprint last year's state butterfly champion senior Audrey Kumm of Hutchinson, who finished with a time of 56.51.
The Detroit Lakes boys' cross country team had another successful season and they brought plenty of runners along for the ride. Depth was the number one factor for the success of the Lakers, with the season highlighted by defending their Mid-State Conference championship. "We had better numbers out this season than we've had in years," said DL head coach Bill Kvebak. The Lakers also were deep with their top talent, as four different runners led DL in meets, which included senior Dylan Ramstad-Skoyles, juniors Brandon Olson, Jason Stallman and Wes Bakken.
After a slow start to the season, along with a rugged part of the schedule, the Detroit Lakes volleyball team saw significant improvement by the time the section playoffs rolled around. Everything from serve-receive to the Lakers' passing took big jumps upward, said first-year head coach Jim Wood. "My aspirations for the team were a bit higher than where we finished, but I was shooting high," Wood said. "But our team played above their normal level of play.
There were plenty of bumps during last year's 5-21 season for the Detroit Lakes girls' basketball team, but ultimately, they could make the Lakers a better team this time around. Plenty of experience was gained by the Lakers, as they return the good majority of last year's squad, including their top four scorers. "The girls gained a ton of court time last year and I hope it carries over into this year," said DL head coach Mike Hoganson.
Saturday's season opener in Fergus Falls was a good taste of what the Detroit Lakes girls' hockey team's first line can offer for the 2010-11 season -- and that's plenty of scoring. The first line trio of Brianna Seebold, Callie Johnson and Emily Payne each notched points in a closely-fought 5-3 loss to the Otters, as the three accounted for all of the Lakers' three goals. The Lakers outshot the Otters by a 29-19 margin, but it was Fergus Falls which put together three consecutive goals to key the victory.
The door was cracked open briefly for the Pelican Rapids football team during its Class 2A state quarterfinal game against undefeated Ottertail Central Friday inside the Fargodome, but the Vikings were not able to take advantage of it fully. The Vikings jumped to a 6-0 advantage after a pair of Cris Molina field goals, but not being able to finish one of those drives with a touchdown eventually came back to bite them, as the Bulldogs didn't allow any more en route to a 21-6 win.
It's been awhile since the Barnesville Trojans have felt an opposing team actually within striking distance heading into the second half, but the pesky Mahnomen Indians proved just that in the Class 1A state quarterfinals Friday inside the Metrodome. The battle of the unbeatens became a defensive affair, as the No. 4 ranked Indians stymied the potent Trojan offense to just seven points in the first half, but top-ranked Barnesville still proved to be too resilient, as they remained patient in a 24-6 victory over Mahnomen to advance to the state semifinals.
Detroit Lakes swimming stalwarts Melissa Paakh and Libby Larson are no strangers to the Class 1A state meet -- combining for a total of 11 appearances in the Big Show -- but now they will be making their grand finale as Lakers Friday and Saturday inside the University of Minnesota's Aquatics Center. But the cycle will continue for the Lakers as another potential state streak will start, after eighth grader Kyley Foster qualified for the first time in diving. Overall, the Lakers finished fourth as a team in the Section 8-1A meet, which was held last Friday and Saturday in Bemidji.
Ever since he started competing in sports as a child, Jim Fredrickson was always goal-driven. That goal-oriented and competitive-natured attitude still persists in the 60-year-old Fredrickson today. The retired Detroit Lakes teacher and former track and field coach accomplished more in three days than most people strive for in a lifetime. Fredrickson reached two big goals in a span of those three days, after he qualified for the Boston Marathon for the second time in his life Sept.
Having more bullets to work with for the 2010 season, the Detroit Lakes girls' cross-country squad had one of most successful seasons as a team in quite sometime. But there is plenty of room left before the Lakers hit the ceiling. "This is the deepest team we've ever had," said DL head coach Jon Freeman. "But we saw that lack of consistency, which is due to their lack of maturity and experience." The Lakers entered the season young, with their top three runners in grades eight, nine and 10, respectively.